Immune responses are critical for the maintenance of homeostasis but can also upset the equilibrium, depending on the context and magnitude of the response. Natural killer (NK) cells are well known for their important roles in antiviral and antitumor immune responses, and they are currently used, mostly under optimized forms, as immunotherapeutic agents against cancer. Nevertheless, with accumulating examples of deleterious effects of NK cells, it is paramount to consider their negative contributions. Here, we critically review and comment on the literature surrounding undesirable aspects of NK cell activity, focusing on situations where they play a harmful rather than a protective role.
- natural killer cells